Universal Moves 

Everyone has access to universal moves, no matter who or what you are. Moves don't always trigger, though. Remember, the fiction comes first. If you're using hack and slash on a dragon, and you've only got a dinky spear, it's not going to work! 

Common Moves Edit

These are moves you can expect to use often, remember them!

Hack and Slash Edit

  • When you attack an enemy in melee, roll+STR. 
    • ✴On a 10+, you deal your class damage to the enemy and avoid their attack. At your option, you may choose to do +1d6 damage but expose yourself to the enemy’s attack. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, you deal your class damage to the enemy and the enemy makes an attack against you. 

Volley Edit

  • When you take aim and shoot at an enemy at range, roll+DEX. 
    • ✴On a 10+, you have a clear shot—deal your class damage. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, choose one (whichever you choose you deal your class damage): 
      • You have to move to get the shot placing you in danger as described by the GM 
      • You have to take what you can get: -1d6 damage. 
      • You have to take several shots, reducing your ammo by one 

Defend Edit

  • When you stand in defense of a person, item, or location under attack, roll+CON. 
    • ✴On a 10+, hold 3. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, hold 1. 
  • As long as you stand in defense, when you or the thing you defend is attacked you may spend hold, 1 for 1, to choose an option: 
    • Redirect an attack from the thing you defend to yourself 
    • Halve the attack’s effect or damage. Reduction is after armor. 
    • Open up the attacker to an ally giving that ally +1 forward against the attacker 

Spout Lore Edit

  • When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something, roll+INT. 
    • ✴On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting and useful about the subject relevant to your situation. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, the GM will only tell you something interesting—it’s on you to make it useful. 
  • The GM might ask you “How do you know this?” Tell them the truth, now. 

Discern Realities Edit

  • When you closely study a situation or person, roll+WIS. 
    • ✴On a 10+, ask the GM 3 questions from the list below. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, ask 1. 
  • Either way, take +1 forward when acting on the answers. 
    • What happened here recently? 
    • What is about to happen? 
    • What should I be on the lookout for? 
    • What here is useful or valuable to me? 
    • Who’s really in control here? 
    • What here is not what it appears to be? 

Parley Edit

  • When you have leverage on a GM Character and manipulate them, roll+CHA. Leverage is something they need or want. 
    • ✴On a 10+, they do what you ask if you first promise what they ask of you. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, they will do what you ask, but need some concrete assurance of your promise, right now. 

Tease Edit

  • When you tease an enemy, roll+LIB. 
    • ✴On a 10+, you increase the enemy's lust with your appeal, and avoid arousing yourself. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, increase the enemy's lust with your appeal, and choose one: 
      • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot, the GM will say how 
      • You arouse someone else, with a sexual attack against them, the GM will say who 
      • You increase your own lust with your appeal 

Aid / Interfere Edit

  • When you help or hinder someone, roll 2d6. Take +1 if you've known them a while, or +2 if they're the one you've known longest. 
    • ✴On a 10+, they take +1 or -2 to their roll, your choice. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, they still get a modifier, but you also expose yourself to danger, retribution, or cost. 
  • You must Aid before their roll is made to grant the bonus. 

Defy Danger Edit

  • When you act despite an imminent threat or suffer a calamity, say how you deal with it and roll. If you do it 
    • by powering through, +Str 
    • by getting out of the way or acting fast, +Dex 
    • by enduring, +Con 
    • with quick thinking, +Int 
    • through mental fortitude, +Wis 
    • using charm and social grace, +Cha 
    • with sexual expertise or control, +Lib 
  • ✴On a 10+, you do what you set out to, the threat doesn’t come to bear. 
  • ✴On a 7–9, you stumble, hesitate, or flinch: the GM will offer you a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice. 

Special Moves Edit


Very situational moves.   

Purge Edit

  • When you attempt to reduce your bloat the hard way, roll+CON. 
    • On a hit, remove 1d10 bloat. 
    • On a 7-9, take damage, ignoring armor, equal to the amount of bloat expelled. 
    • This cannot reduce your hitpoints below 1. 

Encumbrance Edit

  • When you make a move while carrying weight, you may be encumbered. If your weight carried is: 
    • Equal to or less than your load, you suffer no penalty 
    • Less than or equal to your load+2, you take -1 ongoing until you lighten your burden 
    • Greater than your load+Strength, you have a choice: drop at least 1 weight and roll at -1, or automatically fail 
  • A PC’s load stat is determined by their class and Str. Being able to haul more is a clear benefit when trying to carry treasure out of a dungeon or just making sure you can bring along what you need. 
  • This move only applies to things a person could walk around with and still act. Carrying a boulder on your back is not encumbrance—you can’t really act or move much with it. It affects what moves you can make appropriately in the fiction. 

Carouse Edit

  • When you return triumphant and throw a big party, spend 100 coins and roll +1 for every extra 100 coins spent. 
    • ✴On a 10+, choose 3. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, choose 1. 
    • ✴On a miss, you still choose one, but things get really out of hand (the GM will say how). 
      • You befriend a useful NPC. 
      • You hear rumors of an opportunity. 
      • You gain useful information. 
      • You are not entangled, ensorcelled, or tricked. 
  • You can only carouse when you return triumphant. That’s what draws the crowd of revelers to surround adventurers as they celebrate their latest haul. If you don’t proclaim your success or your failure, then who would want to party with you anyway? 

Supply Edit

  • When you go to buy something with gold on hand, if it’s something readily available in the settlement you’re in, you can buy it at market price. If it’s something special, beyond what’s usually available here, or non-mundane, roll+Cha. 
    • ✴On a 10+, you find what you’re looking for at a fair price. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, you’ll have to pay more or settle for something that’s not exactly what you wanted, but close. The GM will tell you what your options are. 

Recruit Edit

  • When you put out word that you’re looking to hire help, roll: 
    • +1 if you make it known that your pay is generous 
    • +1 if you make it known what you’re setting out to do 
    • +1 if you make it known that they’ll get a share of whatever you find 
    • +1 if you have a useful reputation around these parts 
  • ✴On a 10+, you’ve got your pick of a number of skilled applicants, your choice who you hire, no penalty for not taking them along. 
  • ✴On a 7–9, you’ll have to settle for someone close to what you want or turn them away. 
  • ✴On a miss someone influential and ill-suited declares they’d like to come along (a foolhardy youth, a loose-cannon, or a veiled enemy, for example), bring them and take the consequences or turn them away. If you turn away applicants you take -1 forward to recruit. 

Outstanding Warrants Edit

  • When you return to a civilized place in which you’ve caused trouble before, roll+CHA. 
    • ✴On a 10+, word has spread of your deeds and everyone recognizes you. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, as above, and the GM chooses a complication: 
      • The local constabulary has a warrant out for your arrest. 
      • Someone has put a price on your head. 
      • Someone important to you has been put in a bad spot as a result of your actions. 
  • This move is only for places where you’ve caused trouble, not every patch of civilization you enter. Being publicly caught up in someone else’s trouble still triggers this move. 
  • Civilization generally means the villages, towns and cities of humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings but it can also apply to any relatively lawful establishment of monstrous species, such as orcs or goblins. If the PCs have stayed in a place as part of the community, it counts as civilization. 

Make Camp Edit

  • When you settle in to rest, consume a ration. If you’re somewhere dangerous, decide the watch order as well. If you have enough XP you may level up. When you wake from at least a few uninterrupted hours of sleep, heal damage equal to half your max HP. 
  • You usually make camp so that you can do other things, like prepare spells or commune with your god. Or, you know, sleep soundly at night. Whenever you stop to catch your breath for more than an hour or so, you’ve probably made camp. 
  • Staying a night in an inn or house is making camp, too. Regain your hit points as usual, but only mark off a ration if you’re eating from the food you carry, not paying for a meal or receiving hospitality. 

Recover Edit

  • When you do nothing but rest in comfort and safety after a day of rest, you recover all your HP. After a day of rest, you remove one debility of your choice. If you’re under the care of a healer (magical or otherwise) you heal a debility for every half a day of rest instead. Debilities can be removed in other ways, as well. 

Bolster Edit

  • When you spend your leisure time in study, meditation, or hard practice, you gain preparation. If you prepare for a week or more, take 1 preparation. If you prepare for a month or longer, take 3 instead. When your preparation pays off spend 1 preparation for +1 to any roll. You can only spend one preparation per roll. 

Take Watch Edit

  • When you’re on watch and something approaches the camp roll+WIS. 
    • ✴On a 10+, you’re able to wake the camp and prepare a response, everyone in the camp takes +1 forward. 
    • ✴On a 7–9, you react just a moment too late; your companions in camp are awake but haven’t had time to prepare. They have weapons and armor but little else. 
    • ✴On a miss, whatever lurks outside the campfire’s light has the drop on you. 

Navigate Edit

  • When you navigate without knowing the way, roll+WIS. Regardless of the result, the GM will tell you how much progress you need to reach what you seek. 
    • ✴On a 10+, mark 1 progress. Your journey was smooth, effortless, perhaps even scenic. You stand before a trial now, and must complete it before you can navigate again. 
    • ✴On a 7-9, mark 1 progress, but there's a complication or conflict before you, solve it and then you will stand before a trial. Complete it before you can navigate again. 
    • ✴On a 6 or less, don't mark progress. There's a complication or conflict in your way, solve it, and then you can navigate once more. 
  • A trial is a crossroads, an obstacle, a hard choice to make, a change in scenery, or a test of skill. 
  • Progress: █ █ █ █ █ 

Undertake a Perilous Journey Edit

  • When you travel through hostile territory, choose one member of the party to act as trailblazer, one to scout ahead, and one to be quartermaster. Each character with a job to do rolls+WIS. 
    • ✴On a 10+: 
    • • The quartermaster reduces the number of rations required by one 
    • • The trailblazer reduces the amount of time it takes to reach your destination (the GM will say by how much) 
    • • The scout will spot any trouble quick enough to let you get the drop on it 
    • ✴On a 7–9, each role performs their job as expected: the normal number of rations are consumed, the journey takes about as long as expected, no one gets the drop on you but you don’t get the drop on them either. 
  • You can’t assign more than one job to a character. If you don’t have enough party members, or choose not to assign a job, treat that job as if it had been assigned and the responsible player had rolled a 6. 
  • Distances in Dungeon World are measured in rations. A ration is the amount of supplies used up in a day. Journeys take more rations when they are long or when travel is slow. 
  • A perilous journey is the whole way between two locations. You don’t roll for one day’s journey and then make camp only to roll for the next day’s journey, too. Make one roll for the entire trip. 
  • This move only applies when you know where you’re going. Setting off to explore is not a perilous journey. It’s wandering around looking for cool things to discover. Use up rations as you camp and the GM will give you details about the world as you discover them. 

End of Session Edit

  • When you reach the end of a session, answer these three questions as a group: 
    • ✴ Did we learn something new and important about the world? 
    • ✴ Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy? 
    • ✴ Did we loot a memorable treasure? 
  • For each “yes” answer everyone marks XP. 

Level Up Edit

  • When you have downtime (an hour, hours, or days) and XP equal to (or greater than) your minimum XP, you can reflect on your experiences and hone your skills. 
    • ✴ Subtract your minimum XP from your XP. 
    • ✴ Increase your level by 1. 
    • ✴ Choose a new advanced move from your class. 
    • ✴ Choose one of your stats and increase it by 1 (this may change your modifier). Changing your Constitution increases your maximum and current HP. Ability scores can’t go higher than 20. 
  • Minimum XP = Current level + 7 if you’re level 1 through 9 
  • Minimum XP = Current level + 14 if you’re level 10 through 20 

Bad Ending Edit

  • When you’ve lost all your hitpoints or your lust ≥ your HP, you're defeated, and perhaps unconscious. You catch a glimpse of your final fate (the GM will describe it). Then roll (just roll, +nothing—yeah, Fate doesn’t care how tough or cool you are). 
  • ✴On a 10+, you’ve cheated Fate—you’re in a bad spot but you still persevere. 
  • ✴On a 7–9, you will be offered a bargain or a choice. Take it and escape your bad ending or refuse and enjoy what awaits you. 
  • ✴On 6-, your fate is sealed. You will soon succumb to your fate and when you do, you will be gone for the rest of the session, or the next one. The GM will tell you how long. 
  • Bad ends should not end in character loss unless agreed to by the player. Bad ends may result in loss of gear or XP, very rarely resulting in loss of moves or levels. Don't decrease player stats. A GM who bad-ended you may bar you from their sessions as long as they want.